Early winners, losers from Seattle Kraken expansion draft
Whether you found out thanks to a series of reports or during the NHL's Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft show, the team's 30 tips have been revealed.
To be clear, that doesn't mean we now have a full view of the Kraken's opening day lineup. (However, according to reports, we may know the 2021-22 schedule for the Kraken and other NHL teams through Thursday.)
For one thing, we could see side offers. The Kraken kept the salary cap on throughout this draft expansion, so don't be surprised to see "sweeteners" and other types of trades. This sturdy cap room also opens the door for Kraken to become big players in the 2021 NHL Free Agency. You know ... if you want.
So take those early Seattle Kraken "winners" and "losers" with the appropriate grains of salt. Things could change in terms of the make-up of the Kraken, as well as how the Kraken affects other NHL teams, in the days, months, and even years after this draft expansion.
But here are some early winners and losers nonetheless. Click here for the full list.
Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft: Early Losers
Since every other NHL team (except the lucky Golden Knights) had to lose a player, why not start with "losers"?
Loser: The Kraken expansion draft reveals itself
Love surprises Did you want to fold your jaws when the Seattle Kraken announced its 30 expansion draft picks? * cough * Well, hopefully you've avoided social media / the internet in general.
If you wanted the closest to tension, you'd have to really stretch. According to Sportsnet's Mark Spector, it only took the octopus a while to contact Dennis Cholowski as a Red Wings pick.
Lots of reporters did a great job (or annoying job if you're ESPN and / or hate spoilers). Daily Faceoff's Frank Servalli chiseled out so many leaks that he became something of a meme magnet.
That said, the show did its best to be fun. There were many familiar faces, including other sports stars in Marshawn Lynch, Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. So maybe you knew what gifts to get, but at least the wrapping paper was nice.
Losers: Lovers of lively moves, oomph, chaos
Here's a bold take: the octopus, a mythical marine animal, has likely splashed around a lot. However, we didn't get many zippy moves from the Kraken during the expansion draft.
Perhaps that actually mitigates the blow of a lack of surprises? After all, a surprise can quickly turn into a disappointment. Just think of all the times when the younger you whined about socks as a Christmas present.
(As old? Socks are quite elitist gifts to be honest.)
Rather than picking big names like Carey Price and Vladimir Tarasenko, the Kraken emphasized space, defense, and flexibility.
By and large, the Kraken might be smart about this. From a “sport is actually entertainment” perspective, those of us who crave chaos have socks instead. Sorry, socks.
Could there be draft trades after the expansion? Something else that shows up? We will see.
At the moment, it seems like NHL teams decided against secondary deals with the Kraken after completing several prior to the Golden Knights draft expansion.
As painful as it is for Flames fans to lose captain Mark Giordano, GM Brad Treliving said the price was just too high to keep. That may have been a deal. (Or the teams just didn't want the Golden Knights' heartbreak to repeat itself.)
However, stay tuned with PHT for possible movement after the expansion draft.
In time, the Oilers may look like the smartest people in the room. Perhaps Duncan Keith is good enough to prove the opposite to critics.
It sure doesn't feel like that.
Losing Adam Larsson makes Keith's move look shakier and only turns the knife deeper as Edmonton may give Zach Hyman a big tenure. The Golden Knights likely made it more desirable to sign with an expansion team, but Larsson essentially chose the Kraken over the Oilers?
Blues, flyers, generally anyone who wanted to save some money
Here the "early" part is important to account for losers.
After the expansion draft, the Kraken could still offer its cap space to take over problem contracts - for a price. However, during the announcement of the draft expansion itself, the Kraken did not hand out many cards that "get out of prison for the salary cap for free".
Seattle passed the risk-reward decision on Vladimir Tarasenko's election. If the Flyers hoped to get James van Riemsdyk, Jakub Voracek, or even Shayne Gostisbehere out of the books, they were out of luck.
Deep down, the Predators probably didn't expect the Kraken to get rid of $ 8 million in one of Matt Duchene or Ryan Johansen. It would have been nice for a team that is already cumbersome with the reconstruction.
Most often the Kraken went on short and cheap contracts.
The lightning bolt, to a certain extent
See, this off-season could hurt the Lightning. (Yes, that "could" be hard work. I'm a fool about that ... ", sentiment assuming that the wage cap is actually likely to be for Tampa Bay.)
Despite all the warnings not to overreact to the draft expansion, part of me is wondering if the lightning should try to bribe the Kraken so it doesn't take Yanni Gourde away. He's really good.
But the Lightning do need air to breathe, and if they didn't bribe Seattle to take Gourde, what could have been worse?
Lovers of goals
Yanni Gourde has 22 and 25 goal seasons on his résumé. Chances are Jordan Eberle will be a big catalyst for Seattle's offense.
Overall, it is fair to ask, "Where do the goals come from?" However, this is another weakness of picking winners and losers so soon after the Kraken expansion draft. Could you get more points through free agency or trades?
Maybe, but right now it looks like the Kraken could score in a way you would normally expect from an expansion team.
Really, the overall goals could be difficult to achieve, which is a nice transition to the winners section.
Early winners from the Seattle Kraken expansion draft
In all fairness, the biggest wins might be hard to spot. Perhaps these will be through a commercial or free agent pickup. It could also boil down to the Kraken finding their version of William Karlsson.
That said, here are some early guesses about the winners.
Hakstol's defensive sentiment?
One could guess that as a "hockey man" Dave Hakstol is likely to be in defense. On paper, the octopus figure is considered a stubborn opponent - and not just from the blueline.
Of course, it starts with Mark Giordano, a veteran not far from winning the Norris Trophy. Larsson is another defender who has proven to be an advantage, perhaps an elite defender.
Between those veterans, some intriguing mid-range options like Vince Dunn, and a handful of new prospects, the Kraken could make a nice squad of defenders. Fans of other teams might even be a little jealous.
Delightful to Hakstol and the Kraken, this strong defensive game extends to most of their strikers as well. Yanni Gourde can take offense, but it's his all-round game that makes him exciting. The overall impact may vary, but you can basically copy and paste a "two-way player" for most of the strikers the Kraken picked during the expansion design.
At the age of 27, Driedger only played 41 regular season games and played three playoff games. Its numbers are absolutely glitzy in most of these contexts, so don't blame the octopus for taking a risk.
But it's understandable that people would compare Driedger receiving tenure and cash to a signing that can still cause nightmares to Ron Francis. During his tenure as Hurricanes GM, Francis & Co. hired Scott Darling - a player who came up with nice numbers at a slightly advanced age but didn't have a large sample size.
Damn the Driedger by default? No, not necessarily. (It might help to have a strong defense in front of him.)
Either way… Driedger's nice hectic pace. Maybe he could have gotten something similar in the free agent market, but who knows? Instead, Driedger gains a stability that he probably would not have been able to fathom a few years ago. Good for him.
The Islanders - when they want a splash
You know teams can't sneak out of the challenges of the salary cap? The Islanders are considered one of these exceptions.
Jordan Eberle could be missing now. Keep in mind, however, that he sported a $ 5.5 million cap hit while the Islanders moved similar money by trading Nick Leddy and Andrew Ladd away. (They even landed some futures for Leddy! Tough job.)
While Anthony Beauvilier expects to eat part of that space, Cap Friendly estimates the Islanders' Cap Room at around $ 17.67 million.
Could they add that extra scoring talent to push them over the hump? Are they going to add any more hits somehow? Get plenty of both when you sign Gabriel Landeskog? Are you shocking us all with Mathew Barzal? The possibilities were staggering even before Eberle's $ 5.5 million was withdrawn via the Kraken expansion project.
Another draft expansion, another big night for people named "Fleury".
The Kraken selected the brothers (and defenders) in Cale Fleury (22) and Haydn Fleury (25).
But even if they don't (or only one does), moments like these are just cool.
More NHL news
NHL Expansion Draft: Seattle Kraken Reveals Inaugural Roster NHL Mock Draft 2.0: Michigan Duo Expected To Go With The Top Two Picks Trades: Flyers Get Ryan Ellis, Predators Get Cody Glass, Golden Knights ...
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk for NBC Sports. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.
Early winners, losers from the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft originally posted on NBCSports.com
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